Michelle Powers: TMH staff rude


— To the editor:

I recently had called The Memorial Hospital to ask about some extremely painful symptoms I was having, and the nurse who answered the phone was very rude to me.

I later had to go to The Memorial Hospital for some tests and later was told to go to check into the ER by my doctor and was treated as though I was stupid. They put me on forget, and when they did come in, I noticed that it was the same nurse who had been rude to me earlier that morning on the phone. I was treated like I shouldn't have even been there. The staff in the ER was so rude, and I felt like they didn't even want to help me.

I went home and two days latter was in extreme pain and ended up needing to go to the hospital, but there was no way I was going to the TMH. So I went to the Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat and was treated exceptional by everyone there. They treated me and my family so well, and the surgeon that I had was awesome.

All I can say for TMH is that they definitely leave something to be desired - maybe they should look into how they treat their patients and their families. I will never ever take my family or go to this hospital ever again because this is most definitely not the first time that we have been treated this way at TMH.

Also, to the entire staff at the Yampa Valley Medical Center, thank you so very much for all your care and concern. A special thank you to Dr. Hermacinski for being so caring. You are truly a great surgeon, and I can't thank you enough. I feel so much better.

Thank you.

Michelle Powers



oawow 8 years, 1 month ago

Yampa Valley Medical Center I my first choice!


freeman 8 years, 1 month ago



wickedstepmother 8 years, 1 month ago

I am what you may consider unhealthy. I suffer from several extremely painful conditions. One of which is migraine headaches. I myself can say that I have firsthand experiencd the down right rude, even inhumane treatment by the staff of the Memorial hospital emergency room. Suprisingly there is a sign in every patient room that shows a pain scale and at the bottom states "you have a right to pain management" even though the physicians dont use it. Because the staff there are fully aware of who I am and the problems I suffer, if and when I go to the ER everyone knows me by first name even though I dont know who they are. I have been left to wait as long as 3 hours, I have been left in a weakened condition sitting in my own vomit and feces, and worst of all I have been left in deadly pain. I feel that the only ones to hold accountable for the poor treatment I have received would be the ER physicians at the time of treatment and the staff who oversee the ER department. I know that a new hospital is being built but that doesnt change the staff. I only wish that the community could elect the people who run the hospital and its departments so that maybe the community would be better treated when the hospitals emergency room became necessary. Sadly an hour trip to Yampa Valley Medical Center is not always affordable in a true emergency, but if I could YVMC would also be my first emergency room choice.


notmpoppins 8 years, 1 month ago

First of all, I am so sorry Michelle that you have had to endure what you did. I hope you are well now. TMH needs to focus on their level of care in all areas. In a recent trip to the ER with a friend, (she was in a tremendous amount of pain) She was also "put on hold" in a room. BTW there was no one else in the ER at the time. It was the nurses lunch time so she announced she was leaving. No one else came for over an hour. Dr. Ossen was also "gone to lunch" in the next room. We could hear him laughing and joking. Don't get me wrong, I agree Dr.'s and nurses need to eat but I also think that patients should be a first priority. At the very least get some one to cover while you are gone.
A new hospital sounds great, but without hospital administration that expects (demands) excellence in care, and are willing to address poor behaviour with their staff, all we are going to have is a new building staffed by rude medical "professionals" that no one wants to or is afraid to go to.
Remember..... going to the hospital everyday is normal for hospital staff, for a patient it is and can be a very traumatic unknown. A little compassion goes a long way!


freeman 8 years, 1 month ago



4coonsmom 8 years, 1 month ago

Michelle, I hope you are feeling better. They treat "some employees" quite horribly too. But that's another story for another day. It's a shame that our local hospital willingly treats Craig's residents so poorly. I, too have had several bad experiences there. For instance, the nurses not emptying the "urine collection device" I had to use, until it was overflowing, for 3 days. DISGUSTING to say the least!
The second doctor treating me in the ER didn't bother to tell me she didn't "accept" my insurance. Yes, other doctors do, the hospital does, my doctor does, but they wouldn't call him. Then, I was told since I assumed she accepted my insurance, and who wouldn't, it was my fault, and I have to pay her astronomical bill. I completely believe the hospital and the doctor involved did that on purpose to make more money for her. You know, fill her pockets at the patients expense. When a person is in the ER and they are told their insurance is accepted, then the patient should be told if the doctor treating them doesn't accept the insurance. Misleading and outright deceit! My husband was there with me, they could have told him. The new hospital will only be as good as the people who work there. Need I say more....


Craig_gal 8 years, 1 month ago

I hope the stories that I hear and read are isolated incidents and wonder if the hospital administration looks into these case ONE by ONE and with a magnifying glass. It seem Michelle was fortunate that she had the transportation and support to get her to another town, but so many residents do not have that choice. Does the hospital have an outside quality assurance program? Does the hospital have a grievance policy? an accountability program? ethics????? These letters and concerns of residents have to be substantiated somewhere.
I have had excellent care with the Craig emergency room and in patient hospital stays. I would hope that my experience is what typically happens when patients present themselves and that no one has to go through what Michelle did. I wish Michelle a speedy recovery and i am sure that you and your family are thankful that you sought care elsewhere.
Too bad that a local resident has to be THANKFUL that she took the initiative to go elsewhere for care.


slipknot 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't live in an area where I have to go to THM ER but I sympathize. Pain management is tough for the er providers to deal with because they can't see it like they can a 2 or 5 inch cut or a broken leg or injuries from an accident. But for that very reason they need to provide a different level and a very different type of care; the listening type that evidently your providers aren't capable or willing to give. That's unfortunate. I used to know Jon Ossen not as doc and patient but as friends and you've got me wondering what's happened. It's been a long time since we've talked and I'm not going to call him to talk about this. I will call him to ask about some hunting stuff and if this come up we'll talk but I'll honor my friendship just to clear my own mind. I suffer the results of a traumatic brain injury and have terrible pain in my head as a result. I go to a pain management clinic in another city and when the beast becomes unbearable I go to the local ER where, I too am on a first name basis but am treated much differently. I apologize for my friend but I don't know what to do for you, other than report TMH to the State Medical Board.


Really 8 years, 1 month ago

It's true that for every bad experience the person tells nine other people but you never hear about good experiences. I had a procedure done recently at TMH, and EVERYONE I had contact with was friendly and professional! A couple of years ago I had surgery in Stbt. and had terrible care! I had to get up by myself 36 hours after major abdominal surgery because no one would come when I called. I really think care depends A LOT on staffing levels, who is working and other variables. One just can't decide a whole place stinks because of a few negative encounters.


concernedcitizen 8 years, 1 month ago

Thanks so much for your comment Rainbow. I too am sick and tired of hearing only negative things about TMH, especially from people who have never even been there. I have had two recent experiences at TMH. Both times the staff went above and beyond to make me feel welcome and treated us like we were the only people they had to care for. I had a caring ER nurse and physician on my first visit with my son and an excellent group of nurses in the surgery department with my other family member. I am fairly new to the area from a big city and have experienced many other hospitals first hand. TMH has treated me better than any other and has far exceeded my expectations.


slgarcia1 8 years, 1 month ago

I was with Michelle when she went to the ER that day. It was the day before Thanksgiving, & even though they knew that she needed surgery right away, (the tests proved it) the doctor tried to put her off until after the holiday! I was also with her the day she went in with one of her kids, & was told "what now?" by the ER nurse.

Not to mention the TMH anesthesiologist that has a habit of having the patient's family members babysit her kids while she does her job & poorly at that! One of her kids actually ran into my sister's delivery room just as the doctor was saying "push" & yelled "Mommy, what's wrong with her?!" among other things, while her "mommy" IGNORED her & kept talking to the nurse! It took my sister yelling" get that kid out of here!" for "mommy" to finally take action! I personally have been her "babysitter" three times, & I was also in the delivery room with my sister.

My point is that TMH needs to address the issues they have with their staff's ethics & conduct. They also need to do the same with the on-call doctors & other specialists they use.

On the PLUS side.. When I twisted my ankle, the X-Ray tech was so gentle that I didn't even feel her moving around my ankle! Unfortunately, she moved away....


DV8 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought it was because of the building that people went to Steamboat.


Cole White 8 years, 1 month ago

From a customer service standpoint you have to address every negative comment, but you don't address them all with the same weight. When people come into the ER they are generally in some level of discomfort and they want the service to meet their expectations, and when it doesn't they think the service is bad and/or of bad quality, when in reality it meets any and all definitions of high quality care. When expectation aren't met, people can become very vocal. When a person feels they have been wronged they will then also tend to exagerate the situation (They waited for five minutes but will say 30) and make it seem worse than it was just to make a point. This kind of falls in line with "the checks" in the mail line of defense.

While I do believe that this lady had services that did not meet her expectations, I find it hard to believe that she recieved services where the doctors and nurses went out of their way not to treat her conditions and/or went out of their way to provide her with bad care. The hospital has some great staff members who are dedicated to giving 100% to their patients, but that does not mean that 100% of patients will leave there feeling they received the best care possible. I feel this lady already had her mind made up that she wasn't going to receive the care she wanted and would have had a negative experience no matter what. The same goes with her visit to Yampa Valley. She knew she was going to get great care there and would have raved over the level of care they gave her even if they would have spit in her eye.

Again, you have to take comments like hers with a grain of salt. Work to improve customer service, but remember that you couldn't have pleased this patient even if you wanted to.


slipknot 8 years, 1 month ago

You know what? If you received bad service or no service in a restaurant you'd get up and leave. If you don't like living in Craig or Moffat County . . .move


freeman 8 years, 1 month ago



Kat 8 years ago

I have heard horror stories about TMH over the years and recently had an emergency situation where I had no choice but to go to TMH. I was really scared. But from the moment I entered the emergency room until I left many hours later, I had nothing but the most kind upbeat care from the admitting staff to the nurses and doctor on call. The only waiting was for all the lab and x-ray results to come in so that Dr. Ross could proceed with the right treatments. And that is a good thing. Even though there were other people in the emergency room getting his attention as well, he was patient, kind and explained things - treating me like I was the only one there. The nurses kept checking on me and put me at ease. They were also very pleasant and visited with the ones who took me there. I think that any Doctor or nurse who has to treat a total stranger they've never heard of before, not knowing the background and history of that patient, is to be commended and definately "thanked" for getting it right!

I've had to return to the hospital a few times since then to get lab work done and I have to say there is no waiting, everyone is very professional and caring and I have never seen "rude."

I know people who want lots of sympathy and when they don't get it, they aren't happy. I don't want sympathy - I just want to be well. So even when I'm hurting bad or ill, I still try very hard to put a little smile on my face even if it's crooked, just to tell the world I'm happy to be here and I hope I'm here a long while yet. No, it is not fun to be sick but attitude has a whole lot to do with healing and being well.

Thank you TMH for getting me on my way again..I do so appreciate you all. K. Bassett


slipknot 8 years ago

I apologize I realize that many of you can't just pack up and move. In a perfect world you would be able to. But, in a perfect world you wouldn't have the problem we're speaking of. I read one of the other blogs dealing with this same subject and this fellows sister works at TMH. They both had best be very careful about what they say and to whom, because HIPPA violations are very real and very , very serious if his sister is sharing stuff with him regarding things said at TMH that might in anyway be construed as a violation of patient confidentiality, little sister could face a very serious penalty. Next time you go to the ER or the TMH or to the DR office read the HIPPA declaration before you sign or take it home and read it.. On the original subject; I know families that live in Rifle who drive to Steamboat because the care level is so much greater there than in Rifle, Meeker or Craig. I've even heard TMH called a glorifed animal hospital and Pioneer's in Meeker as not fit for small pets let alone people. Grand River in Rifle is brand new facility, but people feel the same there as you do about TMH. The little old place in Rangely was just turned down by voters for a mill levy to build a new facility, they have 2 full time docs there and 2 or 3 more who rotate in from a rent-a-doc firm to cover days off, because the board was smart enough to not renew the options on a couple of slug MD's about 3 years ago. The 'interim' CEO is full of himself and is going to destroy any chance RDH had of becoming a good care facility. So you see, good people, your problems are not particular to TMH they exist pretty much everywhere in this portion of the state and decrease as you get closer to the high cost recreation areas of the state. That's my opinion for what it's worth.


hello 8 years ago

I think for the most part TMH provides excellent care, and has excellent and caring physicians and nurses. In defense of the anesthesiologist in the comment by slgarcia, doctors can have child care issues just as anyone else can. Doctors who take call in Craig as much as the anesthesiologist does, may sometimes have to tote her kids with her if she is to respond promptly to a call. I suspect you would be equally upset if she had taken the extra time to take the kids somewhere else before coming to help your sister. If it were not for that anesthesiologist, epidurals would not even be offered in Craig. Epidurals were not available in Craig before she got here. Also, I suspect this has not happened in many years because her daughter is older now.


slgarcia1 8 years ago

In response to "hello"

1) Her child still had absolutely NO business being in the delivery room whatsoever. That was a direct violation of my sister's privacy. 2) If she is going to bring her children to work with her, she is still responsible for their actions, & ignoring their actions just to finish a conversation is being irresponsible & rude. 3) If TMH is going to continue to allow staff to bring their kids to work, than they need to include a 24 hr daycare center in their new facility. The patiant's family should not have to babysit for them. PERIOD!


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